November 16, 2023

BlackRock Submits Formal Request for Ethereum Spot ETF Approval from SEC

BlackRock has initiated the official process for obtaining approval for an Ethereum Spot ETF from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This move follows BlackRock's earlier filing for a Bitcoin Spot ETF in June, which is currently awaiting regulatory clearance.

BlackRock, recognized as the world's largest asset manager, has taken a significant step by officially filing for approval of an Ethereum Spot exchange-traded fund with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

The ETF, named iShares Ethereum Trust, aims to mirror the overall performance of ether's price, as outlined in the Form S-1 submitted to the SEC by iShares on Wednesday. The iShares brand is linked with BlackRock's ETF products.

This filing comes a week after BlackRock registered the iShares Ethereum Trust entity with the Delaware Department of State Division of Corporations. Shortly after Nasdaq's submission of the proposed ETF, it confirmed that BlackRock is actively pursuing the creation of a spot ether ETF.

For the custodianship of its proposed spot ether ETF, BlackRock has chosen Coinbase Custody Trust Company. The CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate from CF Benchmarks, a Kraken subsidiary, has been selected as the benchmark for the proposed ETF, aligning with the choices made for its proposed spot bitcoin ETF.

In June of this year, BlackRock filed for the iShares Bitcoin Trust, a move that had notable market impacts. The SEC is currently reviewing several Bitcoin Spot ETF applications, including one from BlackRock. The bitcoin ETF ticker, IBTC, appeared on the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp's website in August, gaining attention only in the past month.

Prominent trading firms, including Jane Street, Virtu Financial, and Jump Trading, are reportedly in discussions to provide liquidity for BlackRock's proposed spot bitcoin ETF should it receive regulatory approval. The anticipation of a spot bitcoin ETF approval has contributed to the recent rally in bitcoin prices. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink highlighted the market reaction to a false news report about the approval of its spot ETF as an illustration of the "pent-up interest in crypto."

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